My friend Amy at New Century Reading is part of a readalong for the upcoming Michael Chabon book, Telegraph Alley. The guy at Micawber’s kindly gave me an advance copy a few weeks ago, so I figured I’d throw my hat in the ring.
Well, after 60+ pages, I’m taking it out.
The writing feels overwrought, and the cast of characters unrealistically hyper-entwined. I love most of Chabon’s work, but not this. Sample sentence that burped me out of the story:
From the lowest limb of a Meyer lemon, a wind chime searched without urgency for a melody to play.
I understand that Chabon is trying to make the prose blues-y and such, but I’d rather return to Toni Morrison’s Jazz. This feels like Chabon is embodying his own character Moby–a trying-too-hard white guy.
Also, from the inside description:
a NorCal Middlemarch
Sir, I’ve read Middlemarch. And Telegraph Avenue is no Middlemarch.
So many books. So little time. I’m on, on, on to the next one. (That’s Foo Fighters.)